Girl Battling Cancer For Second Time Thankful For Community Support
A 9-year-old Jamestown girl in her second bout with cancer awaits her final chemotherapy treatment.
During her battle, the support Alexis Ackley and her family have received has been near and far.
A September benefit dinner for Alexis proved to be successful as Nancy Ackley, grandmother, said a huge turnout was seen with many donations accepted for the Chinese auction. Nancy said many people reached out to her to donate and support Alexis — many of whom she didn’t know.
“I can’t thank the community, the businesses and the organizations that my granddaughter was involved with enough for their support.”
“It’s so overwhelming that it brings you to tears,” she said.
During her March 2016 check-up, cancer was discovered in Alexis’ lungs in the form of wilms tumor. A month later, she had surgery to have a med port placed. The following week, she started chemotherapy every 20 hours Monday through Friday.
Today, Alexis is doing well as one more chemotherapy treatment, a three-day round, awaits her in hopes that she’s in remission, Nancy said.
“The last time they checked, on the one side, the tumor was gone. The other side, it was just millimeters like a pen point,” Nancy said. “We’re hoping everything is gone by the time they check again.”
In the coming weeks, Alexis will be the focal point of the 2016 Tree of Hope Lighting at Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Kaminski Park & Gardens in Buffalo as she’ll hold the button to light up the tree. Nancy said a TV commercial will air next week leading up to the event that’ll feature Alexis. The lighting event brings family and friends together as the night sky is lit up in an annual tradition of offering hope for those touched by cancer.
Throughout the journey, Alexis has made many wonderful memories, Nancy said. Recently, Alexis cheered for the Jamestown Midget Football League. Her team was joined by the Dunkirk Marauders for a cheer dance to the “Fight” song by Rachel Platten.
To show their support for Alexis, the Dunkirk team sent her a Build-A-Bear with a cheer uniform, her favorite color, purple, and her name on it. They also sent her a shirt that read, “Friends don’t let friends fight cancer alone.”
“She has so many wonderful memories. I hope it takes away from the other things she’s had to go through,” Nancy said. “She’s a trooper and she’s still smiling.”